One of the finest punk acts coming out of Alberta today, Fist City, are busy preparing to release their next two 7-inches, as well as their next album. And as the band explain to Exclaim!, they are embracing the future as they set their sights on what soon may be their busiest year yet.
Speaking of the new material, guitarist Evan Van Reekum says, "It's a lot more surfy, I think, and then some of it is super grungy."
The first 7-inch is a split with Piss Test from Portland, OR, that should be available around May 20 on UK label Drunken Sailor Records. Fist City's side features two original tracks, plus a cover.
"The songs are 'Weird You Out,' 'Surf's Up, Ellie,' and then there's a cover of 'Uncontrollable Urge' by Devo," explains Van Reekum, who largely shares songwriting duties with singer Kier Griffiths.
Van Reekum adds that he was drawn to the Devo tune in part because, "It's really fun, and one of my favourite bands also covered it like 20 years ago, the Mummies, did a great cover of it."
While there currently aren't too many details set on the second 7-inch, Van Reekum says it will be on German label P. Trash Records.
"P. Trash is kind of mostly European-centric, so we'll have copies at shows," he says.
In the meantime, the members of Fist City definitely have their plates full.
Last November, the lineup underwent a significant change when original bassist Brittany Griffiths moved to Australia and was replaced by Lindsay Munro of the Bash Brothers.
"Having Lindsay around to be part of the process has been really good," says drummer Ryan Grieve. "She's been an excellent fit, she's a vibrant personality and just sort of glows. It's a good positive aspect to have in the band."
Coming up in May, Fist City will be heading out on their first-ever overseas tour to the UK after receiving some much-needed funding.
"We just got a touring support grant where they pay for the flights and stuff like that, so we were able to cover some logistic expenses," says Van Reekum. "We've done Canada and the U.S., but we've never been over there, we're pretty excited."
After being invited to play at festivals such as the Great Escape in Brighton and Sound City in Liverpool, it became clear that the group had generated enough interest abroad to make the trip a reality.
"We finally feel like we are ready to take it on, and we're not going to be at a loss doing it," says Grieve.
As for a follow-up to last year's stellar It's 1983, Grow Up LP, Fist City are looking at a fall release date for their third full-length.
"We're probably going to write it while we're out in the UK," says Van Reekum.
The first date of their tour is May 2, but Fist City will also be playing a send-off house show in Calgary before they leave. Keep an eye on Fist City's website and Facebook page for more info, and check out all the currently scheduled European dates here.